Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday, but I'm giving you the presents. I want to give away digital copies of my books to my readers.
Here are the rules: 
1. One book per person (and only one format)
2. This will run only until midnight CT on May 25, 2016
3. Any emails received after midnight will be tossed out.
4. You must send me an email (gemmakmurray@gmail.com) with the following:
       a. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GEMMA in the subject line
       b. Your name
       c. The title of the book (Keeper of the Golden Dragon's Heart, Natural Born Enemies, or The Golden Dragon's Treasure)
       d. Which format you would like
       e. The email you would like the book sent to.
5. If any of the above pieces of information are missing, the email will be deleted.

All I ask is that you are patient and give me time to respond to everyone. Please respect my work and DO NOT pirate my books. If you feel like leaving a review, I would appreciate it, but it isn't necessary.

Have a great day!
With Love, 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Missing You...

Some days, dancing in the rain is not an option. Some days, I'm lucky to get out of bed. My depression is so bad lately that I feel as if I'm drowning.

See, I'm coming up on a big anniversary...the day my hero left this world. It happens to fall right after my birthday. I'm so focused on this anniversary and how my daddy is not here to call me that I can barely keep moving. 

It hurts so badly this year. You see, my dad used to call me constantly, but on my birthday when I'd answer the phone with my usual, "Hi." I'd get "Happy Birthday" sang to me in his "I think I'm Elvis" voice. I'd roll my eyes and laugh. Then, he'd tell me how much he loved me and about the night I came into this world. The last time I spoke to him was my birthday. We spoke for two hours that day. This was one of our longest conversations. It is forever ingrained in my memory. His final words to me were "In case, I haven't told you...it is an honor to be your dad." We told each other "I love you" and hung up. Three days later, this great man took his leave. 

Now I know I was lucky! Not every girl has a daddy like mine. And that's okay, too! I was a daddy's girl and proud of that. Hell, we were both proud of that!

I am reminded every day of how much I'm loved. I do know that. The people in my life never let a day go by without telling me they love me. 
Everyone tells me that the reason I'm having a hard time this year is because I'm truly happy for the first time. That might be. I'm taking some big steps in my life and I wish I could seek his advice. Am I making the right decisions? Am I doing the right things? Could I be doing something better? Am I headed in the right direction or should I have taken that right at Albuquerque (Bugs Bunny reference)?

Depression will NOT beat me! I won't allow it!! But for today...I might just let the darkness stay for a little while longer. (Damn flying monkeys are determined to kill my happy!) 
Never mind...Toto is up and needing a walk. The Wizard and a couple of Munchkins are wanting breakfast. No wallowing allowed today!

Monday, May 9, 2016

What is Love?

The other day I was asked the question: What is love? I was speechless for quite a while as I contemplated the answer.

Truly, do any of us know the definition of love? I wrote myself a note a long time ago about how love looked to me, but to define love in a simple and easy way? Impossible!

Love is a puppy's excited tail wag when you come home. Whether you've been gone 5 minutes or 5 days, their enthusiasm is the same.

Love is a fistful of dandelions held in chubby fists.

Love is a plate of warm cookies and a glass of ice cold milk when you've had a rough day.

Love is making his favorite meal when you know he's had a rough day. Love is also ordering out from her favorite restaurant when you know she's had a bad day.

Love is listening to little ones as they ask the same question fifty times.

Love is laughter on a Sunday morning over chocolate chip pancakes and coffee in bed, dressed in your pajamas with your hair messy and your feet bare.

Love is lying in bed during the quiet hours of the morning, sharing soft kisses and touching conversation.

Love is having a day where you feel your worst, yet you look at yourself and say, "I survived today. Tomorrow, I'll try again."

Love is everywhere!

Love Actually is one of my favorite movies when I'm feeling blue. Here's a quote: "Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."  

As a person who writes romance, you'd think the definition came a bit easier than it did. This is the definition I gave: Love is an emotion, a feeling, everything. It is messy and imperfect. It is has the power to lift you up to your highest high and bring you to your lowest low. It is inside of all of us. Love is never perfect, but when it is all said and done, it is definitely worth it!

So, So tell me: What is your definition of love?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Losing My Way

Have you ever stopped to notice that life has a funny way of going so far off course, yet it seems to always work out the way it is supposed to? Yeah, I'm still stuck in the Land of Oz, but I'm having a ball. It all seems surreal some days. Others? Well, reality has a way of punching me in the face and showing me how real it all is.

When my marriage began to fall apart, I blamed myself. Hell, he blamed me, too. I was devastated, and yet, I had faith that I'd be alright. And as I was reminded, my faith wavered more than I care to admit. I was ready to walk away from my faith, my spirituality, and my gods. All of this was because I felt betrayed and let down. I hurt and I was hurt, however, I never realized that there was something better out there. My best friend moved out of our rental house and completely wrecked my world. I sank into a deeper depression than I had ever seen before. Deep enough that I never dreamed I'd see daylight again. Betrayal was the tip of the iceberg to what I felt. What faith I had regained, I attempted to walk away from. My gods gave me something rare and beautiful, then it went away. I didn't want to see that it was a gift very few got to hold. And how blessed I was to have had him for the short time I did. I merely went through the motions of living after he left. I was sure I would live out the rest of my life alone. I even had a plan...yeah, I was depressed to the point of wanting to end it all. I kept pushing forward though. I'm not sure why. It was probably the fact that my sister kept on my ass. She listened when everyone else forgot I existed. Because I didn't ask for help, everyone thought I was doing just fine. Hell, most still think I am. They have no idea what I have been through or the memories that haunt me every day. I don't post all of my business on social media for the world to see. I will share things that I may be feeling and I get the general, "Everything will be okay" comment from people. My dog kept me moving. I had to get up and go to work everyday so that he had food to eat. He's the only reason I kept living. He gets me through the rough stuff and is the love of my life. Then, something better (or so I thought) came along. After being hurt consistently and ending up on the floor of his kitchen, my head thrown against the cupboard and being knocked unconscious, I walked away. Even this was a blessed lesson in what I can and will tolerate. As much as I was wanting to end it all, I really didn't want to die. Then, one day, I walked into a class. I was an hour early. Having no internet at home, this was my time to get online. I was actually reading a book when the most amazing thing happened. In walked a man with a smile that was absolutely incredible. Then, he spoke and I felt my heart fall. We would sit and talk. And we discovered we weren't alone. In that moment, we found our kindred spirits.

I write this because I want you to know you're not alone. I write this because I want you to know there is a human being behind this keyboard.

I am still wandering the Yellow Brick Road and some days, it is very golden. Then, I turn a corner and feel like I've lost my way. Under the muck, the overgrowth, and the darkness, the gold is still there. I just have to dig a little harder for it. I've learned that some how, some way, I will end up back on the Yellow Brick road, even if I walk off into the beautiful fields and forests that surround it. 

Then, there are those pesky flying monkeys. Every so often, they will come around and take my happy with them. Those are the days, I struggle. I try. I really do. I get up, put on my big girl pants, and go about my day. Some days, I am simply going through the motions, but I'm still trying.

I am in the best place I've been in a long time though. I am in a place I never dreamed I'd be. I have this life that I thought had passed me by, but yet, here it is. Just because I am living part of my dream doesn't mean I have it all. Not even close. I'm trying every day to get closer to what I truly desire.